Kerr says it would be ‘irresponsible’ to play Curry on Christmas


LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors wants ...
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors wants a travel called in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP

Golden State coach Steve Kerr won’t let the hype surrounding the Warriors’ Christmas Day clash with the Cleveland Cavaliers influence a decision on whether injured guard Stephen Curry is ready to return.

“The guy hasn’t even had a three-on-three game, right?” Kerr told reporters on Saturday as the reigning NBA champion Warriors prepared to face the Denver Nuggets.

“So if we weren’t playing Cleveland on Christmas and I told you Steph hasn’t played in a three-on-three game, hasn’t had any contact at all and the game is 48 hours from now, you’d say, ‘oh, Steph’s not going to play.’

“But because of the magnitude of the game, everybody wants to know. But we can’t let that affect our judgement.

“He can’t play. That would be completely irresponsible if he did,” Kerr said.

The Warriors and Cavs have faced off in the past three NBA Finals, with the Warriors triumphing in 2015 and 2017. The Cavs won in a seventh-game thriller in 2016.

The showdown between the elite foes highlights the NBA’s five-game Christmas Day slate, which also features Eastern Conference leaders Boston hosting the Washington Wizards and Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder hosting James Harden and the Houston Rockets.

The Warriors have coped admirably since two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Curry sprained his right ankle on December 4.

But their 11-game winning streak was snapped on Saturday when a dismal offensive effort saw them fall 96-81 to the Denver Nuggets.

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